Ukraine apparently mounts deepest drone strike inside Russia to date

Ukrainian soldiers of the 22nd Mechanised brigade prepare to start the Poseidon H10 Middle-range UAV near Bakhmut, Donetsk region.
Ukrainian soldiers of the 22nd Mechanised brigade prepare to start the Poseidon H10 Middle-range UAV near Bakhmut, Donetsk region. Copyright Efrem Lukatsky/Copyright 2024 The AP. All rights reserved
Copyright Efrem Lukatsky/Copyright 2024 The AP. All rights reserved
By Euronews with AP
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With badly needed battlefield weapons and ammunition supplies dwindling, Ukraine is hitting Russia from the air.

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Ukrainian drones attacked industrial facilities in the province of Tatarstan, Russian authorities said Tuesday. 

If confirmed, it would be Kyiv's deepest strike inside Russian territory since the war began more than two years ago.

Seven people were injured in the attack on facilities near the cities of Yelabuga and Nizhnekamsk, located some 1,200 kilometres east of Ukraine, Russian regional authorities said.

The strike damaged a hostel for students and workers in a free economic zone where a factory manufacturing Iranian-designed drones is reportedly located, other media reports said. Tatarstan is known for its high level of industrialisation.

Tatarstan officials said the attack didn't disrupt industrial production, while Nizhnekamsk's mayor said air defences thwarted an attempted strike on a refinery.

Kyiv officials normally neither claim nor deny responsibility for attacks on Russian soil, though they sometimes refer obliquely to them. 

Euronews could not independently verify the reports.

Ukrainian drone developers have for months been extending their weapons' range, part of Kyiv's effort to compensate for its battlefield disadvantage in weapons and troops. 

Unmanned aerial vehicles are also an affordable option while Ukraine awaits more US military aid.

Neither side is currently able to make much of a dent on the 1,000-kilometre front line in Ukraine itself. 

Speculation is mounting that Russia plans to mobilise hundreds of thousands more troops for a renewed offensive, however. 

'Army of drones'

Ukraine previously has launched drone attacks in and around St Petersburg, which lies about 1,000 kilometres north of the border. 

But the facilities in Tatarstan, a province on the Volga River, appear to be the most distant target Ukraine has tried to hit.

In recent weeks, Russian refineries and oil terminals have been targets of Ukrainian drone attacks, part of stepped-up assaults on Russian territory, including long-range drone attacks.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy said last year his country had developed a weapon that hit a target 700 kilometres away, in an apparent reference to a drone attack on Russian soil.

Late last year, Ukraine's minister for digital transformation, Mykhailo Fedorov, said the government wanted to build a state-of-the-art "army of drones". 

Its value to the war effort will be evident by the end of this year, he continued, adding that Ukraine had trained more than 10,000 new drone pilots last year.

Kyiv has also developed deadly sea drones that previously struck Russian navy ships in the Black Sea.

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Meanwhile, Ukraine's air force said on Tuesday it intercepted nine out of 10 Shahed drones launched overnight by Russia in the latest attack on the country's power grid.

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